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Comments

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White House Announces Reforms Targeting Patent Trolls

caffeinejolt Coporate Policy Stifling Innovation Also (124 comments)

This is indeed one aspect of the many problems with our patent system,. Another is the corporate strategy, initiated over a decade ago, which has virtually eliminated the interaction between innovative small firms and larger firms with the need for innovation and the deep pockets required to drive innovative products to market. After my small firm was purchased in 2000, I was ordered to inform all engineers that it would be a major (i.e. firing) violation of corporate policy if they let themselves become aware of the intellectual property of any other firm. I was told that this had recently been adopted as corporate policy by most major firms as a brilliant defense against the feared "triple damages" awards for patent infringement. Corporate policy explicitly banning any effort to learn about other firms' patents currently eliminates any possibility of a court awarding triple damages - even if patent infringement were proven. Since most innovative small firms lack the financial resources needed to take on a multi-year legal battle, even if they were able to show infringement on their patent, this new corporate policy amounted to a free pass for large wealthy firms to simply steal innovations from innovative small firms. The worst thing that could happen would be that the small firm won in court, at which point the worst-case punishment would be to pay 'damages' - which are defined as simply the amount that the stealing firm would have had to pay had they properly licensed the patents from the small firm in the first place. While this is considered a brilliant legal strategy, it is a disastrous national policy for technological innovation. It virtually eliminates the financial incentive for small firms to invest in innovation, by providing carte blanche for larger firms to simply steal that innovation; the logical large firm strategy in this case is to never discuss intellectual property with any small firm - simply steal it and defy them to take you to court. We do indeed need to make war on patent trolls, but even more importantly, we need to make war on patent thieves - by punishing deliberate ignorance of patent theft with large penalties. If it is proven that infringement occurred, and that the infringing firm had a policy of deliberate ignorance, the damage award should be at least tripled. Or - we should start letting speeders go free if they claim ignorance of the speed limit because they chose to deliberately avert their eyes every time a speed limit sign came near.

about a year ago
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Zero Errors? Spamhaus Flubs Causing Domain Deletions

caffeinejolt Very true - really depends on the registrar (170 comments)

I wrote the backend for a registrar (NameSilo) and still help out with their developers from time to time. Because they offer free privacy and low prices - they get a lot of black hat use. Spamhaus frequently sends them abuse complaints and I have seen a few of them. What is amazing is that most of them offer little to no evidence of the wrongs a given domain has done. I am literally pasting from an email I was copied on here:

From NameSilo regarding an alleged malware domain:

Hi Thomas, We would like to help expedite this since it involves potential malware, but you don't give us much to go on here. Can you please review: http://www.namesilo.com/Support/Abuse-Reporting-Procedures

From Spamhaus:

This domain name is operated by cybercriminals and used to provide DNS resolution to botnet domains, aimed to steal thousands of $$$ from financial institutions. Please suspend it.

So in short - the registrar asked for evidence that the domain was violating their terms of service and spamhaus simply replies they are cybercriminals... trust us! After seeing other abuse reports from them, I can tell you that spamhaus has a very snub attitude and expects to be listened to. Once when Namesilo did not listen to them enough to their liking, they added namesilo.com to their RBL - they had me modify their MTA to route email around the block, but still - I think you can see the problem here - someone has to keep spamhaus in check.

about 2 years ago
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The Ascendancy of .co

caffeinejolt NameSilo (164 comments)

NameSilo - I would highly recommend them

more than 3 years ago
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Lamebook Sues Facebook Over Trademark Infringement

caffeinejolt Just dealt with this this week (108 comments)

This site is pretty straight forward: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/ - people can score companies based on the customer service they provide. Facebook / markmonitor.com decide for some reason that it infringes on their trademark based on this page: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Facebook Which leads to the following big waste of time/resources simply to tell their legal team to leave them alone: 1) they receive the complaint 2) they contact their registrar http://www.namesilo.com/ to find out what problems if any they have with their domain 3) NameSilo recommends some trademark attorney and 4) the attorney files a response (http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/images/CustomerServiceScoreboard_Facebook_Response.pdf) which more or less tells Facebook to please leave them alone and that their trademark infringement case is baseless. Facebook ended up dropping the threat. But this goes to show you how ridiculous the situation has become. Sites like Facebook employ services like Markmonitor.com to basically send out thousands of trademark and/or dmca threats.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama Wants Broader Internet Wiretap Authority

caffeinejolt The real shame here.... (646 comments)

Is that they want to go after application layer security as well according to the NYTimes article (They want it to include "Developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must redesign their service to allow interception."). If that is the case, then this is a direct assault on the right to privacy for all US citizens. Even worse is that it is being touted as a way to catch the bad guys instead of a means to obtain the right to spy on the general population. Any self respecting bad guy will use application layer encryption (i.e. PGP etc.) that works independent of the transport encryption. Do you really think bad guys are going to use software that plays by the rules this law creates?

If this law also goes after application layer security - in other words, it tries to make it illegal to make/use software to enforce your own privacy - then this is a HUGE problem and we all need to act to help inform those around us who don't understand the repercussions of such a law. Right now we have the right to make/use software that protects our privacy. Do you want to live in a country that has removed this right in the name of protecting its citizenry from the evil doers?

more than 3 years ago
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Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?

caffeinejolt Re:Good IMAP Server (385 comments)

That's why I recommended Dovecot - it uses indexes which make searching 20 years of emails very possible.

more than 3 years ago
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Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?

caffeinejolt Re:IMAP is a protocol, not a file format (385 comments)

I did not assert it was a format. As far as the format, I recommend Maildir++, which when coupled with Dovecot (the IMAP server I recommended) does exactly what you wrote "You could opt for MIME messages in a directory structure and use some fulltext index software (Google desktop, Apache Lucene etc.) You can probably find software that creates index lists (like by sender / subject / date)"

more than 3 years ago
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Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?

caffeinejolt Good IMAP Server (385 comments)

If this is really important to you, and you want it all to work across multiple workstations/OSes, your best bet will be to store it all in IMAP. If you have the means and motivation to run this yourself, I would recommend Dovecot. If you don't have the means and motivation, then you can use a service like Gmail to run your IMAP although you give up certain freedoms in doing so. For example, I use Dovecot coupled with Maildir++ as the physical storage format - as a result I can (if I wanted to) change to any email client I wish very quickly, use different email clients at the same time, etc.

more than 3 years ago
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New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System

caffeinejolt How does this differ from glusterfs? (132 comments)

I am not real familiar with ceph and after going through the pain to learn more about glusterfs (http://www.gluster.org/) only to learn that gluster was not quite ready for primetime (this was about 6 month ago - may have changed), I am a bit skeptical. Anyone know the main differences between ceph and glusterfs (besides that glusterfs can run in userspace)?

more than 4 years ago
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Adobe Flash Now Officially a Part of Google Chrome

caffeinejolt Chrome users like flash more than others it seems (168 comments)

Comparing this report (which shows flash plugin usage within chrome users) to this report (which shows general flash plugin usage) - it seems only 2% of chrome users have no flash plugin compared to 3.9% across all browsers.

Depending on how you look at it, this is either a sign chrome users don't need additional help getting flash installed or that google is simply catering to their users who have a special affinity for the flash plugin - you decide.

My guess would be this is some special strategic bond between Adobe and Google to further push flash since silverlight is by far the fastest growing plugin technology - but that growth is partially tied to the growth of Windows 7 which comes with silverlight.

more than 4 years ago
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Next Flash Version Will Support Private Browsing

caffeinejolt Change Permissions on Flash Cookie Directory (192 comments)

A while back I got tired of everybody tracking me online so I cracked down on permanent browser storage. I ended up getting rid of all cookies on browser close and ran these commands:

rm -rf ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/*
rm -rf ~/.adobe/Flash_Player/*

With sudo:
chown -R root.root /home/user/.macromedia /home/user/.adobe/Flash_Player/
chmod -R 0600 /home/user/.macromedia /home/user/.adobe/Flash_Player/

The flash cookie problem was solved and I have not noticed anything has changed. Of course, I don't really see much flash other than flash ads - so it might break some things I am unaware of.

On windows the same directories are stored elsewhere - but the same overall technique should work fine I would think.

more than 4 years ago
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Bing Gains 10% Marketshare

caffeinejolt Depends who you ask... (514 comments)

According to StatOwl.com, Bing has around 4% market share. However, it should be noted that they measure traffic driven to actual sites as a result of using search engines for their metrics. So if we assume both ComScore and StatOwl are correct in their reported data. Then around 6% of the new Bing traffic can't seem to find what they are looking for with Bing.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Trained Soviet Attack Dolphins With Head-Mounted Guns Are On The Loose

caffeinejolt caffeinejolt writes  |  about a year and a half ago

caffeinejolt (584827) writes "Three Ukrainian commando dolphins trained to search for mines, attack divers and plant explosives have escaped from their handler in the Crimea, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday."
Link to Original Source
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x86-64 Market Share Hits 10% in December

caffeinejolt caffeinejolt writes  |  more than 4 years ago

caffeinejolt (584827) writes "In the last 6 months, end-users (i.e. not servers) have been making the switch to x86-64 OSes in large numbers. Growth was strongest in Mac (release of Snow Leopard), but also strong for Linux and Windows. So basically, the number of users who need 4GB or more of RAM has more than doubled in the past 6 months — an interesting trend considering all the recent talk of moving to the cloud, thin clients (i.e. chrome os), netbooks, etc."
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Internet Explorer 6 Will Not Die

caffeinejolt caffeinejolt writes  |  more than 5 years ago

caffeinejolt (584827) writes "Despite all the hype surrounding new browsers being released pushing the limits of what can be done on the Web, Firefox 3 has only this past month overtaken IE6. Furthermore, if you take the previous report and snap on the Corporate America filter, IE6 rules the roost and shows no signs of leaving anytime soon. Sorry web developers, for those of you who thought the ugly hacks would soon be over, it appears they will linger on for quite a bit — especially if you develop for business sites."
Link to Original Source
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Hotmail Outage

caffeinejolt caffeinejolt writes  |  more than 5 years ago

caffeinejolt (584827) writes "According to customer complaints filed on the Hotmail page of ContactHelp.com, it appears that Hotmail had a service outage yesterday lasting approximately 1.75 hours. Some customers reported the reason issued by Hotmail was a power outage. It seems only fair since the Gmail outage in Februrary was reported on Slashdot, that Hotmail get its fair mention as well. Judging from the Hotmail customer comments on ContactHelp.com, I can only imagine what the Hotmail phone support personnel had to go through yesterday."
Link to Original Source
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Chrome only one left standing at hacking contest

caffeinejolt caffeinejolt writes  |  more than 5 years ago

caffeinejolt (584827) writes "According to an article on Ars Technica: "During a contest at the CanSecWest event, security researchers competed to exploit vulnerabilities in web browsers. Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer were all successfully compromised, but Chrome was able to withstand the first day of the competition." Chrome is Google's browser based on the open source Chromium project. The stable Chrome 1.x release has a small, but growing market share with frequent releases."

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